New Study Highlights Major Jump in ADHD Medication Errors

A new study finds the frequency in errors related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications increased by almost 300% during the past two decades in people younger than 20 years old. Authors of “Pediatric ADHD Medication Errors Reported to United States Poison Centers, 2000-2021,” published in the October 2023 issue of Pediatrics (published online Sept. 18), acknowledge the spike is likely tied to the dramatic rise of ADHD medication prescriptions. Researchers add that while most exposures were associated with either no consequences or ones of minimal effect, the therapeutic errors are preventable. A therapeutic error is defined by the National Poison Data System as “an unintentional deviation from a proper therapeutic regimen that results in the wrong dose, incorrect route of administration, administration to the wrong person, or administration of the wrong substance.” The study derived from data reported to poison centers from 2000 to 2021. There were 5,235 therapeutic errors reported in 2021, averaging one exposure every 1.6 hours. The 6–12-year-old age group accounted for two-thirds of exposures, and approximately three-fourths (76.4%) of exposures were to males. Most (92.9%) exposures occurred in residences, while roughly 5% occurred at school and 1.6% occurred in another location, namely a public area. Researchers contend the rate of medication mistakes could be reduced with the development of improved child-resistant medication dispensing and tracking systems.

Source: American Academy Of Pediatrics